skeleton_key_doors_colorsIt’s easy to forget how important something as intangible as “branding” is to a business’s success or failure. But, to have a long-term business model, branding is a lot more important than the particular products and services one offers today. The market is super crowded and potential clients have so many choices at their fingertips that if your brand doesn’t clearly stand out you are going to get lost in the chaos of the crowd.

Think about the brands you have come to know and love and how they have adapted over the years. See how a strong brand changes with the times, but keeps its core values intact.

  1. Audience Knowledge – A strong brand knows exactly who its audience is, what they need, desire, fear and want. The brand will keep delivering solutions to their ideal audience over time and will not be stuck in the past.
  2. Product Differentiation – A strong brand can instantly be separated as unique from its competition, and the owners of the business know exactly how to do that through its strong marketing messages.
  3. Brand Promise – The brand’s promise takes into consideration the brand’s position in the market place and can be articulated to the public via marketing, or it can be demonstrated via actions. The promise is implied to the audience in intangible ways.
  4. Competitiveness – The strongest brands know where to compete, whether it is on price, service, or some other criteria. Brand ambassadors know exactly what advantages their brand offers over other brands, and can easily express it.
  5. Message Consistency – All brands need to send a consistent, quality message through all marketing channels to avoid confusion and a washed-out brand. While brands do need to understand the subtleties of different social media marketing, they need to know first who and what they are.
  6. Powerful Vision – Your ability to tell your brand story in detail while also sharing your vision with your audience is paramount to creating a strong brand that can stand the test of time. The vision informs the marketing efforts that drive the message.
  7. Product Awareness – This is earned through excellent marketing programs that give attention to the benefits of the product, directed toward the ideal audience. It seeks to ensure that even non-customers are familiar with the brand and know that it is trustworthy. The customers are very loyal and are repeat customers.
  8. Passion – The joy and focus that passion brings to the table when it comes to your product and service will sustain the brand during both lean times and times of plenty. The passion will also enable you and your team to provide top-notch customer care and continued spectacular product and service development.

Building a strong brand takes time, commitment and effort. It takes the willingness to stick to the messages for the long term and not forget what your true point of being is. To serve your target audience, solve their problems and deliver solutions that stand the test of time.